On July 31, the Celtic Wolfhounds of Team Ireland and Gyrfalcons of Team Iceland squared off in a scrimmage on the Overwatch Public Test Region(PTR). They chose this battleground as not only a way to use the new forced 2–2–2 role lock system, but also to get a feel for how the newest character Sigma plays in a competitive team setting and what works well with and against him. Links to the VODs are provided at the bottom of this article.
The teams started out Sigma-less on Lijiang Control Center. Ireland went with the Mei-Reaper composition that has been seen frequently since the 2–2–2 lock went in, where those two Damage Heroes are there to support and capitalize on those unfortunate enough to be pulled by the Halt-Hook combo of Orisa and Roadhog. Team Iceland opted for a Wrecking Ball-centric team, choosing Damage Heroes like Tracer, Doomfist, and Sombra who can disrupt the enemy team alongside the Wrecking Ball. However, the Gyrfalcons never managed to quite turn the fight around and lost Control Center 100–0%. On the Night Market point of the map, Iceland won several of the fights, but a surprise appearance from Buckle’s Torbjorn gave Ireland the edge they needed to get the win 100–81%. Now whereas a normal game would end here since Ireland was the first to 2 wins, the teams played the third point (Garden) since it was a scrimmage and to gain experience on the map given the recent balance changes. Team Iceland came out much stronger on this point, ultimately taking it 100–43. However, Ireland’s two point wins gave them the edge, and took the map 2–
Ireland 1 — Iceland 0
The Australian outback may seem an odd place for a bout between these two nations, but the map of Junkertown was deemed to be a suitable battleground. Iceland was able to split the Irish defenses and take point A fairly easily, but the Irish double-sniper combination of Buckle and FlexG bounced back and got the team a foothold on the streets phase of the map. However, off angles from the Icelandic snipers led to a point B take, and the defense was unable to get off the back foot. Iceland completed the map with 1:41 left in the time bank. The Irish attack looked solid, especially on Point B with Buckle on Widowmaker, but got stalled out near the end of Point C with Iceland’s Snorrlaxz hitting crucial headshots as Widowmaker to close out the defense and take the map win, 3–2.
Ireland 1 — Iceland 1
Taking the battle to Hollywood, the Icelandic attack played a form of ‘Cyber Dive’, utilizing Genji and Sombra alongside Wrecking Ball and D.Va to pounce on and delete particular characters within the Baptiste Bunker of the Irish defense. This dive rolled over the bunker until the end of point C, which held for almost 3 minutes but finally crumbled and Iceland completed the map with 1:16 remaining. The Irish attack came out running a Pharmercy alongside a Winston-Sombra dive, pitted against the Icelandic disruption composition of Wrecking Ball, Doomfist, and Sombra. After taking Point A, the Pharmercy of FlexG and M3WTS dominated the streets phase and took Point B handily, but then had to switch given the geometry and indoor nature of the final push. Treelo changed from Winston to Orisa, FlexG from Pharah to Mei, and Buckle from Sombra to Torbjorn then Hanzo. Despite their best effort and attempting several different strategies, the Irish got stuffed a mere 5 meters from the finish.
Ireland 1 — Iceland 2
The streets of Venice can be a fickle place, but Rialto is a real test of the teams’ abilities on a payload map. For the initial defense, the Irish again came out on a bunker composition bolstered with Baptiste and Mei. However, Iceland chose the ‘Cyber Dive’ again, making quick work of Point A. The healers of the Celtic Wolfhounds, Existence and M3WTS, quickly changed over to Moira and the newly-reworked Brigitte. The extra healing and stun was able to mitigate much of the threat from the Icelandic dive, in turn making the Genji of Iceland change to a Pharmercy that was able to capture Point B. The last point defense was fierce for the Irish lads, but Iceland was able to finish Point C in overtime. The Wolfhounds ran their bunker on attack and steamrolled through the Icelandic bunker on Point A, and a switch from Mei to Widowmaker resulted in the Irish picking up Point B. They stalled out less than a meter from the finish for around two minutes, but picked up the point in overtime as well, forcing a draw.
Ireland 1 — Iceland 2
On Horizon Lunar Colony, the Wolfhounds set up their defense as an Orisa bunker with Torbjorn and Widowmaker. Iceland ran their ‘Cyber Dive’ against this, struggling at first but collecting Point A then snowballing it into an easy Point B take due to advantage in the ultimate economy, finishing the map with 3:02 left. Ireland took a page out of the Icelandic book on their own attack, utilizing the Sombra-Genji Dive to a blazingly fast Point A take. But disciplined ultimate usage on the side of the Gyrfalcons and tight Tracer play by Sindri thwarted the attack without conceding a tick on Point B.
Ireland 1 — Iceland 3
Finally, as the teams took to the Greek map of Ilios, we saw our first look at the new character Sigma. PureIrish was the one to choose him, playing as an off-tank to Treelo’s Orisa. The composition was rounded out by Reaper, Mei, Lucio, and Brigitte. However, it seemed that Sigma’s abilities were unable to do enough to repel the relentless threat of the Icelandic Sombra, Widowmaker, and Wrecking Ball, while the Ana was able to land critical biotic grenades against Ireland since there was no Defense Matrix in play. When Buckle and FlexG swapped to playing double-sniper, they rallied back but ultimately fell 100–85% on Ruins. On the Well point, Iceland rolled out with their Disruption Dive of Doomfist, Sombra, and Wrecking Ball, and Ireland stuck to an anti-dive bunker of Orisa, Roadhog, Torbjorn, and McCree. These compositions led to a fairly back-and-forth bout, alternating team fight wins until Ireland took the win, 100–72%. Headed to the Lighthouse in a winner-takes-all point, Ireland experimented with a Sombra-Reaper dive composition, which worked surprisingly well against the Pharmercy and Sombra dive of the Gyrfalcons. Iceland could not gain any traction against this, and unable to take the point once they fell 100–0% and gave the map win to Ireland.
Ireland 2 — Iceland 3
While the Celtic Wolfhounds were ultimately left with the loss on the day, they also left with plenty to be proud of. They appeared dominant on the King of The Hill maps, and the maps they did lose were so close that one fight could have changed the final result.
With the final rosters solidified for both teams now, the teams played in this scrimmage will under go some changes before taking to the official World Cup competitions. On the Icelandic side, the big name coming in is Finnsi, the Off-Tank player for the Paris Eternal OWL team, and Hafficool (who had played Tank this scrimmage) will slide to the Damage role. On the Irish side, they will see Liam_OW coming in for Treelo at the Main Tank role, and Scally202 replacing Existence at the Flex Support role.
Irish Main Healer POV: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/460642477
Irish Off-Tank POV: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/460642386